Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is still assessing hurricane damage sustained by its facilities, but plans to hold the Team Hammer Advanced Riding School & Pro Practice on October 13 and the 39th ASRA/CCS Annual Race of Champions October 14-16 are moving forward until further notice.
On September 28-29, Hurricane Ian hit the 63-year-old motorsports facility in Daytona Beach, Florida with high winds and heavy rainfall.
Since the hurricane struck, people have been posting photos of DIS on social media. Some photos showed hurricane damage from years past and other photos showed the track’s recent condition. All of this has led to speculation and misinformation circulating regarding the actual condition of the track and the status of the upcoming Biketoberfest events inside and outside of DIS.
“Still assessing,” Russell Branham, Director, Track Communications, Southeast Region, NASCAR (which owns Daytona International Speedway) told Roadracingworld.com Monday. “We’re not putting out any statements because the whole team is there still assessing what we have to do. As quick as we know something we will report it, but there’s nothing to put out today as we’re still assessing.”
ASRA/CCS President Kevin Elliott has been running the Race of Champions at DIS for nearly all of the event’s 39 years and is close to the track’s management, but he did not have much more to share as of Monday.
“One of our guys (Eric Cinnamon) lives in the area and he said the infield looks fine,” Elliott told RoadracingWorld.com. “I think it’s outside of NASCAR (Turn) Four where there was some erosion. He added a note yesterday that heavy equipment was there and getting started (making repairs).”
Cinnamon shot a short video (shared with Roadracingworld.com by CCS racer CJ Cohen) of heavy equipment working on the outside of NASCAR Turn Four. In the video, an excavator is seen filling in dirt and compacting it with its bucket, and to the side of the excavator it looks as if the area that has already been repaired is much larger than the area still to be repaired.
However, it’s impossible to tell from the video and photos shared by Cinnamon and Cohen if other parts of the DIS facility suffered infrastructure damage, i.e. plumbing, electrical, etc., that could have an impact on the track’s ability to host the large Biketoberfest event.
“I haven’t gotten an answer from (track management) other than to say we’re working on making it happen,” said Elliott. “The track is optimistic just as we are. They want it to happen. On Wednesday I will call them again and see what they say, and then try to get a definite answer or a timeline. I’d love to know by Friday [October 7].”